Carlo Simone is working on Nantucket Island, Massachusetts for the month of September as an Assistant Editor on the production of Annabelle Hooper and the Ghosts of Nantucket.
As beautiful as it is, Nantucket Island is definitely a little…spooky in parts. The island is sometimes referred to as “The Little Grey Lady of the Sea”. It gets that name partly because all the houses here are painted in a dour, decaying shade of grey that Edger Allan Poe would probably find too dreary for his home. While the light here is amazing when the sun in out and it looks not too dissimilar to a tropical Florida beach scene, sometimes a dense fog creeps over the island and turns it into a grey haven that sends a little chill through warm blood.
The locals seem to relish this history and atmosphere. In addition to everyone following code by painting their houses grey, they also like to put up a front of spookiness around out-of-towners. One day while I was on set, an old man walked up to several of us near the camera equipment. He asked what we were working on and I pointed to the hat one of the crew members was wearing that said “Annabelle Hooper and the Ghosts of Nantucket”. With a gravelly voice he said, “Ohhhh, the ghosts. Yes. You know they’re definitely here. I think there are more dead on this island than living.” His eyes widened to punctuate the gravity of his statement. Moments later, a smile curled out of the side of his lip and he resumed being just a warm and polite old New Englander. I giggled at his small attempt to frighten me out of politeness; not having the heart to tell him that “having more dead than alive” is probably true of everywhere on the planet.
That didn’t really matter though. He was having fun playing the role of otherworldly Nantucket native. It’s charming and lends this area a very distinctive flavor. I haven’t been anywhere that simultaneously tries to be inviting touristy beach resort and Transylvania by-the-sea. Also it’s a little amplified by the fact that we’re shooting just out of season for Nantucket. In the summer, tourists flood the island in droves and turn it into a packed party destination. All the while they fill up local shops and restaurants. Once the season ends after labor day, the tourists leave and shortly after some of the snowbirds. The Little Grey Lady becomes even more grey in this time as a quiet takes over the island and the locals prepare for the winter. They wouldn’t have it any other way, though. Nantucket natives appreciate the quiet more than average folks, and where others would be taken with gloom they appear to relax in a meditative calm.
Perhaps they are finally able to share a peaceful moment with their true neighbors, the ghosts of Nantucket Island.